China’s Wanda to Spend $1.2 Billion on Beverly Hills Entertainment HQ

Wang Jianlin

The real estate giant, and owners of AMC Theaters, will keep its U.S. commercial business in New York but is bullish on the prospects for its Wilshire site.

Hong Kong – China’s Wanda Group will spend $1.2 billion to develop its Hollywood presence after it won a bid for a plot of land at 9900 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, for the HQ of its U.S. entertainment business.

“The Los Angeles project will serve as the Wanda Group’s first important step into Hollywood,” the group said in a statement on its website.

Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin is China's richest individual and in 2012 he bought the AMC theater chain for $2.6 billion.

The company said the Beverly Hills facility was also expected to help China’s entry into Hollywood’s film industry and generally promote Chinese culture abroad.

STORY China's Wanda Plans to Buy 'One or Two Large International Entertainment Companies‎'

“The Los Angeles office will be able to leverage on Hollywood’s solid film industry resources to support the group’s Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis and Qingdao International Film Festival projects in China. The office will also be the base for investment in local film production companies or global theatrical releases,” Wanda said.

A 10-minute walk from Rodeo Drive and 10-minute drive from Hollywood, Wanda described the site as “the premier development site for luxury property development throughout all of Los Angeles.”

Wanda has made no secret of its international ambitions.

STORY Cannes: China's Wanda to Launch Qingdao Film Festival in 2017

In September last year, Wanda brought over Hollywood A-listers including Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman and Harvey Weinstein to launch the Qingdao movie facility, which is slated to open in 2017 in the eastern Chinese port city.

Last month, Wang said the group was poised to be among China’s first group of “real” multinational companies and would firmly adhere to its internationalization strategy.

He said that in the second half of this year, Wanda would intensify its investment in the entertainment sector overseas by acquiring one or two large international entertainment companies, and said the group’s investment arm of Wanda was undergoing negotiations with certain companies.